Safe Zone Movie Review
I don't dig the apocalypse, seems tedious and a right inconvenience if you ask me, but more to the point it's also properly annoying if you require medical care or access to important and essential supplies. Like those lime flavoured Jaffa Cakes you can sometimes get....tasty times.
Short film Safe Zone, directed by Matthias Harris, is a dark exploration into the knock-on effects that can occur when the human race is put under extreme pressure, when we are inserted into extreme circumstances, and how those factors cause us to do...well, extreme and often stupid things. There is nothing that hits the audience harder than the reality that we are all as vunrable as the next in regards to our own choices made in moments of panic and fear; we can all be stupid, no matter how much you prepare.
In this short we see a husband and wife in that exact situation, frantically driving to what seems like nowhere, desperately trying to ''stop the bleeding'' of a wound or victim that is kept out of sight, but the problem is, in the middle of a pandemic of infection, there is nowhere to go, but to just drive with the hope that something promising will appear around the next bend.
Claustrophobic close ups of the couple fill us with the panic and dread that they both feel, the dusty vast fields that surround them only fuel the panic as we are reminded of the isolation due to the pandemic that they are involved in, all of these aspects remind us that...no nothing is coming around the next bend, and this is an achievement in #filmmaking that we cannot overlook in this short film.
While all this bleak action is going on, a hunky and mysterious man comes along and starts to ransack a car on the side of the road, it's the end of the world so why not, robbing is the last thing to worry about at this point. But his Robin Hood session is interrupted by our couple, blood soaked and muddy emerging from the forest, they have buried their child, never seen but only hinted at by evidence in the movie.
Safe Zone lives in a world of ambiguity, never showing its full hand throughout the film, right until that last moment, when boom, it pulls out a royal flush and we all do that thing where we scream at the T.V. and slap the tops of our thighs, because at the end of the day ambiguity is king, it creates drive and momentum without being too flashy and over the top. We investigate, we connect and we travel with the character, something that Safe Zone does with a finesse and style that is not to be underrated.
Enjoyable, stunning and emotionally driven, Safe Zone ignores the obvious fear and impact of a national pandemic and rather chooses to expose us to our inner fears of losing loved ones, and the consequences of choices that we make in the heat of the moment, the concept of ''could I, would I and should I'' will eat at the human soul more than any apocalypse or pandemic can throw at us, and is that not the bigger nightmare?